Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grab Bag

Hello! Here are a few short (yeah, right) comments on recent Avalanche-related articles and blogs.

In this blog entry, Dater keeps it short, saying that the Avs had a "bag skate" on Monday. Dater included video of this skate... which to me didn't look all that punishing, but unlike just about everybody else who seems to follow this team, I'm not a hockey coach, so if that's the way Sacco runs his practices, fine by me. As I've said before, I like little videos like this included in the blog, I think it's a great use for the All Things Avs blog and I would like to see even more of these behind-the-scenes vids.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Avs/Penguins coverage

Hello! Today on Grading Dater, we will look at the Post's coverage of the Avs-Pens game, in which the Avs lost the game 6-3, after the Penguins scored four goals in the third period. The Avs started strong while the Pens looked flat, and thanks in no small part to a magnificent goal from Duchene, the Avalanche had a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period. The Penguins then decided that they would play some hockey, and the second period was a dogfight, and by the third period the Pens' four lines had worn down the Avs' 2.5. Even though the Avs still played a tough game, the Penguins displayed why they're one of the top teams in the NHL.

First off, let's take a quick look at the "Live Chat" thing that Dater has been doing for the games he covers. Basically, it's a chat room where Avs fans can sign in and all type "damnit..." and/or "FIRE SACCO!!!!!!" at the same time whenever the opponent scores a goal. This is a chance to see Dater at his most negative and pessimistic, surrounded by others who are often just as bad. Although there do seem to be a handful of folks there who are genuinely interested in, and appreciative of, smart hockey conversation, it's still a very, very depressing way to spend one's time during a hockey game, and I'd strongly advise against it. It does provide a window on Dater's coverage of the Avs, though, and since it's on the Denver Post web page and it counts as DP coverage, Grading Dater is going to comment on the Live Chat this time, but we'll leave it alone after this.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Avs Mailbag

Hello! Here is the latest Avs Mailbag review. Dater seems to have stepped up on the toughness of the questions in this edition, although he still swings at a couple of granny pitches, most of these are a bit tougher questions that required a bit more of a thoughtful answer than some of the other early-season Mailbags.

The first question Dater tackles in this edition of the Avs mailbag is actually two questions for the price of one: both questions deal with the Avs current handling of the captaincy, which is to say that they don't have one, but rather are running three alternates out there every night. As far as I can tell, Stastny and Hejduk have been constant alternates, with the third one alternating among a number of players.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wings/Avs Coverage

Today, a look at the Denver Post's post-game coverage from the Avalanche/Red Wings match on November 8th, which the Avalanche lost 5-2, despite playing the game in somebody else's home arena. First off, the newspaper recap of the game:

Franzen is often caught daydreaming of playing the Avs.
In this article, Adrian Dater recaps the Avs/Wings game. In it, AD describes the Avs' effort as "Washington Generals-style road performance," which pretty well sums this game up, actually. He points out that the Avs' lousy PK led to two goals by Johan Franzen, who probably experiences nocturnal emission when he dreams about facing the Avalanche. Dater includes quotes from David Jones and Daniel Winnik, as well as coach Sacco... mostly standard "we've got to turn this thing around" sort of thing, but Winnik's quote about "peaks and valleys" in particular was a good one. This is a pretty well-done article overall.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dr. Brainsmart Goes to the Pepsi Center

Hello! Today I would like to take a detour from the primary focus of the blog --  bitching about the Denver Post's coverage of the Avalanche and the NHL -- and offer something new and exciting: my review of a trip to the Pepsi Center on November 2, 2011 for a match between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche.

Much has been made lately about the atmosphere at the Pepsi Center. Crowds for the Avalanche have not been great lately, and many have put a large part of the blame upon the marketing job done by the Avalanche... not only their efforts to attract people to the games with ticket deals and such, but in creating the atmosphere at the game itself. So with that in mind, here is my take on our experience at Pepsi Center.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Three Post-Game Blogs from Dater!

Today, Grading Dater will look at three recent post-game All Things Avs blog entries, all by Adrian Dater. The Avalanche lost the the Coyotes last week 4-1, to the Stars 7-6 in OT, and to the Flames last night 2-1.

Starting with the Coyotes game, Dater's blog can be found here, and it starts with what I consider a very promising paragraph:

I know a few of you probably have come here to watch me take this team to the woodshed. Yeah, there will be a little of that, but really I didn’t think the Avs were all that bad today really. I saw a team that put 40 shots on net, hit a couple of posts and skated pretty hard I thought. So I feel it’s a little hard to sit here and bash the whole team tonight, despite yet another home loss.

I often get a weird, confused feeling when Dater and I agree about something hockey-related. There's a dizziness in my head and a numb feeling at the tips of my fingers; I feel like I can hear the footsteps of insects within the wall; bright lights seem particularly sharp and painful; and I typically spend the next fifteen or twenty minutes handling inanimate objects to test their solidity and form, searching for a glitch in the Matrix.

Actually, I just realized that this description sounds a lot like a hangover... perhaps Dater and I agreed because one of us was drunk? At any rate, there's a lot to like about this blog. Only a few days ago, I wrote that I would like to see a loss like this one receive a "games like this happen" reaction from the Post, and whaddaya know, here it is!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grading Mike Chambers

AD, the spotlight's off you today!
Yes, this blog is titled "Grading Dater," and for as long as Adrian Dater is the primary Avalanche beat reporter, it will stay that way. Besides, it's catchy in a way that "Grading the Denver Post" just isn't. However, Dater is not the only writer at the Denver Post who covers the Avalanche; Mike Chambers chimes in from time to time, and because the real goal here is to improve (or failing that, to complain about) the local media coverage of the Avalanche rather than to just rip on Dater all the time, it's time to give AD a break, and take a look at Chambers' work for a while.

I can practically hear Dater's sigh of relief from here!